“I Hate Boston” Singer Performed In Boston, Here’s What Happened
In late August, you may recall mysterious billboards that read “I Hate Boston” popped up around the city (the first being in the North End). It turned out to be an interesting marketing campaign to promote singer Reneé Rapp’s new record that featured a single by that title. On Saturday night, Rapp performed in Boston for the first time since her “I Hate Boston” controversy.
The show took place at Roadrunner Boston on Guest Street. In fact, it was sold out, as are all of her shows in New York this week. Rapp’s setlist consisted of 15 songs. Many of them are off Rapp’s new record, Snow Angel. Halfway through the set Saturday evening, Rapp and her band broke into “I Hate Boston.”
Boston.com reported that Rapp referenced the song by saying, “Contrary to popular belief, I’m very happy to be in Boston.” According to this review, Rapp came prepared. She certainly capitalized on prolonging the life of these clever billboards. The merch table sold shirts with the “I Hate Boston” slogan in the same black and white color pattern as the promotional pieces. On the contrary, Rapp also had an “I Love Boston” shirt for sale. Rapp stated at the end of the show, “I definitely don’t hate Boston anymore,” Boston.com reported.
Pre-dating the August billboards, there was a reason this song was written in the first place. CBS Boston found a quote from Rapp discussing the song on WBZ-TV. “It’s more fun when people don’t know, and are very curious as to why I would do such a thing, and it is to incite fights and arguments. Cause you guys [in Boston] are very good at that, and you love that,” she said. CBS then noted Rapp has a well-admired reputation for satire.
“How did you make me hate Boston?” and “It’s not its fault that you don’t love me,” are a few of the lyrics in this song. Rapp is telling a story of an experience with someone who associates a bad experience with Boston. Therefore, it must have been both fun and rewarding to be on a prominent stage in this city performing the song to sold-out and adoring crowd.
Shortly after Rapp’s initial billboards went up in the North End, Mayor Wu jumped in on the fun and posted a “Boston Loves You” billboard photo on her Instagram. It appears the crowd Saturday night did as well. Many shared videos contain fans singing along with Rapp during the “I Hate Boston” performance.